It's conventional but dumb to scold ourselves for taking people for granted. Because people who we can take for granted—who we don't have to worry whether they'll be there or how they'll behave or what they'll think about us—they're a great gift. And the greater, the more uncertain the times.
The thing to do isn't to convince ourselves that our old shoes are new, or work ourselves into a panic that they might be stolen. It's to appreciate their comfort—and to occasionally try to describe their beauty. Such expressions don't soar like fresh love declarations; they rumble, like Winston Churchill. You campaign in poetry, you govern in prose.
E.B. White wrote to his wife Katharine, “I realized that so strongly one day a couple of weeks ago when, after being away and among people I wasn’t sure of and in circumstances I had doubts about, I came back and walked into your office and saw how real and incontrovertible you seemed. I don’t know whether you know just what I mean or whether you experience, ever, the same feeling; but what I mean is, that being with you is like walking on a very clear morning—definitely the sensation of belonging there.”
This year I'm thankful for my wife Cristie—and also for others in my personal and professional life (I hardly know the difference between the two) with whom I have the sensation of belonging.
I hope you feel you belong with me, too.